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My Passion for Photography June 6, 2011

Posted by Donnie in Gadgets, Photography.
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I remember as a child my parents owning a Polaroid Land Camera. It always amazed me the way it unfolded and expanded with the bellows opening up. My parents kept it in a hall closet and used it for special family events or vacations. This camera of course was their “modern” replacement for the old Kodak Brownie.

One summer, 1965 or ’66 I think: my older brother David, went to a summer school in Chatham Virginia, on a visit to see him we picked him up and went down to Danville shopping. While there my parents purchased him a Polaroid Swinger Camera. I thought it was the coolest thing! An inexpensive Instamatic camera and MY BROTHER owned it! I was so jealous.

It used flash bulbs that you inserted each time you needed a flash. I remember burning my finger tips removing burnt bulbs. The photograph came out the side of the camera and once given time to develop you would coat it with this liquid to finish it. The black and white images it produced were horrible by today’s standards, but back then they were cool! This camera retailed for $19.95. This was a lot of money in the mid sixties.


Those experiences started my passion for photography. While on a vacation, in the mid-seventies, I kept thinking about all the photographs I had missed using my Kodak 110 camera. My wife and that night after arriving at our next overnight stop went shopping. Before the night was over I was the PROUD owner a Pentax K1000. At the time this was a very popular budget minded SLR camera.

I remember being the butt of jokes from people who didn’t get my interest in photography. At that time it was rare for someone to own a SLR unless they made a living shooting photographs. I brushed off the comments and continued by exploration of photography. I signed up for a beginner photography class and learned all about f-Stops, Shutter Speed, ISO, Rule of Thirds, etc..

This class was followed with another class on Beginner Darkroom. Before long I was developing B&W photographs in my home. Through experimenting I learned a lot about dodging and burning in, etc.. Family and friends who didn’t understand my passion would commonly ask, “black and white!!, why in the world would you shoot black and white?” The answer was simple, I couldn’t afford to do Color and didn’t know how, but at the same time shooting and developing B&W Film taught me a lot that I would not have learned by shooting color and taking down to the local photo shot to get developed.

In the 35 years since I first picked up the Pentax K1000 I’ve owned a lot of camera and shot thousands of photographs. I’ve shot a few weddings, lots of sporting events, hundreds of car shows, a few concerts and countless family gatherings. Photography has recorded a lot of my life and the things I’ve done. Today I use a Nikon D5100 DSLR that is Light-years ahead of that K1000, but I’m so glad that I started with a all manual camera. That K1000 taught me a lot about photography the the average new user today will never understand.




The iPhone… a handheld Mac Computer January 31, 2009

Posted by Donnie in Computers, Gadgets, iPhone.
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main_overview20081217Since I was a kid I’ve been called a gadget freak. I guess it started with a Radio Shack 4 channel handheld police scanner. And of course I went through the CB Radio phase, wristwatch calculaters, a Casio DataWatch, if it was new technology I desired it.

In December 1980 I purchased my first computer, the new Business Computer, a Tandy Model III. This was before IBM had even released it’s first personal computer and, MicroSoft who? I think Bill, Steve and Steve were still working in their garages. If you don’t know who I mean, never mind, haha. don’t even get me started on Laptops, I’ve owned so many different models, to name a few; even a Osborne 1, a Sharp PC-5000, a Toshiba 3100.

But today I own what has to be the ultimate Gadget…. the Apple Iphone 3G. It’s a cellphone… BUT so, so much more. It’d my digital  camera… my iPod…. my PDA (yes I had all the Palms’ too), my alarm clock, my GPS, my handheld game machine and so much more!

I’ve been a Blackberry owner (CrackBerry) but to me the iPhone is generations ahead of the Blackberry or a Palm Treo (yes I’ve had a couple of them also). Apple redefined the Smartphone market with what I like to call the “GeniusPhone.”  Yes everyone is playing catchup and there are some other nice SmartPhone on the market, but none are up to par with the GeniusPhone.

Don’t get me wrong the iPhone is not perfect, depending on who you ask it has many drawbacks. When I first switched from my Treo 750P, I hated the touchscreen keyboard. But today as I have grow accustom to using it I really like it. I have 4 major issues with the iPhone.

1. No cut and paste….. why Apple, why?? It’s such a minor detail thats EVERYONE is screaming for!!

2. No MMS… Every free iphone on the market has it, so why doesn’t the iPhone have it Apple?

3. The SMS app needs work… Maybe it’s just me, but I really liked the capability of sending short pre-defined        text messages, again most phones call do this, but not the iPhone. Why Apple??

4. I guess this last item is more for AT&T, explain to me again what 3G is? I thought I knew, a new hi-Speed data connection for cellphones, right? The only catch is, in the 3 months since I upgraded to a 3G iPhone from my first generation iPhone I have NEVER, I mean NEVER found any 3G service here in North Carolina. So is 3G just a myth that you could charge $10 per month higher for?

I understand the rumor mill has a 3rd generation iPhone coming out in June. So what does Apple have in store for us iPhone addicts? I hope along with the faster processor and  additional memory that I’m sure they will add, that they go back to the BASICS and correct some details that SHOULD have been in the first phone. While I’m dreaming can I ask for true multi-user also??